Making Nutritional Changes

Whether you’re trying to heal or accommodate a health condition, improve bad decisions or start making good decisions, your goal may include making nutritional changes.

But human beings are creatures of habit, and most of us eat several times a day. Many of us have been selecting, buying and cooking food in more or less the same way for the majority our adult lives, and adopting new approaches to these tasks is no small challenge. And of course, making nutritional changes permanent is an important part of the process.

A Few Common Motivations

In this section, we’ll explore a few specific motivations for changing your diet. For example, many people change their nutritional food choices in order to:

  • Accommodate an allergy or medical issue
  • Gain weight
  • Lose weight
  • Transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet
  • Transition to organic or seasonal food.

Regardless of your specific motivation, the basic principles and challenges are similar in almost all cases. So are the steps necessary for success:

  1. Envision the end result.
  2. Break down your old ways and acknowledge the discomfort associated with these habits. For example, how do you feel after a session of greasy unrestrained overeating?
  3. Welcome your new habits and methods and make these as easy on yourself as possible. After each healthy meal, reflect on how you feel and enjoy the decision you’ve made.
  4. Once you’ve overcome a challenge, let it go. Habits, by nature, are unconscious. Repeat, ingrain and forget.

Changing Your Diet Permanently

Changing your diet and making nutritional changes last can be a challenge, but better health is a worthy goal. As with any life change:

  • Break the end result down into smaller goals.
  • Keep the small goals reasonable and realistic, and be patient.
  • Make each small goal clear, and write it down if that helps.
  • When you achieve small goals, savor the feeling of accomplishment.
  • When you miss small goals, go back to your original plan and revise.

For further assistance, meet with a nutrition professional to assist you in creating realistic goals and for nutrition counseling and education.

Lastly, turn to your family and friends for support. Encouragement from others can strengthen us in astonishing ways. Turn this support away, however, if it isn’t beneficial to you–no matter how well-meaning. It’s human nature to resist change in a loved one, even a healthy change.

Take Pleasure in Your Healthy Choices!

Whether you’re cutting out salt or going organic, your ultimate objective should be a set of new, healthy, unconscious set of habits. Enjoy the process, as well as the results. You’ll find that it feels good to move instinctively toward healthy choices.

Resources

Contemporary Nutrition. (2006). Contemporary nutrition, inc. Retrieved August 27, 2010, from http://www.contemporarynutrition.org/

Didyk, L. (2006). Nutritional changes: Making a beginning. Retrieved August 27, 2010, from http://www.kripalu.org/article/347/